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Financial conglomerate Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corp. will seek to expand its Japanese operations into the retail market “in the not-too-distant future,” the chairman of HSBC Holdings said Monday in Tokyo.

William Purves told a news conference that it was disappointing to see that the firm had not yet secured a strong foothold in the Japanese personal banking market despite being the oldest foreign bank in Japan.

But he expressed hope that HSBC Group, which has applied for a license to handle investment trusts, will secure a niche as deregulation proceeds. “We don’t underestimate the challenge, but we are beginning to see opportunities opening up,” he said.

At the same time, Purves indicated that the firm was not looking to the possibility of merging with Japanese financial institutions as a way to enter the domestic market. “We don’t have a shopping list,” he said.

Details of the group’s next moves regarding operations in Japan will be formulated in upcoming months, he added. HSBC Group celebrated the opening of its new building the same day in Tokyo’s Nihonbashi. Its tenants will include group members Hongkong Bank, Midland Bank, HSBC Securities and HSBC Asset Management.

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